"I've been incredibly lonely over the last couple of months and it was wonderful to talk to her," one resident said of her phone call with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

By Claudia Harmata
May 31, 2020 07:01 PM
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Kate Middleton and Camilla
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Kate Middleton has joined the ranks of the Royal NHS Volunteer Responders to check-in with U.K. residents self-isolating amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

The Duchess of Cambridge — along with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex — has been participating in the volunteer organization's "check-in and chat" initiative. 

One of the calls Kate placed was to Donna Williams, a 42-year-old mother of two who is currently keeping her daughter Alessandra, who has a rare form of Type 1 Diabetes, safe and healthy.

Meanwhile, Sophie shared a chat with Harry Deboo, 89, from Liverpool, who lost his wife around three years ago and recently had a triple by-pass.

"It was great to chat to The Countess of Wessex and really made my week," Deboo said in a statement. "I have one son who doesn’t live locally – so I don’t get to see many people – especially now. I also like to keep the memory of my wife alive and it was great to chat about her. She really listened to every word and it was great to share our lockdown experiences together!"

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Camilla spoke to Doris Winfield, 85, who is self-isolating in Rickmansworth and said the last couple of months have been "incredibly lonely."

"Having a chat with The Duchess of Cornwall meant the world to me. I’ve been incredibly lonely over the last couple of months and it was wonderful to talk to her," Winfield said. "We talked about life in isolation and shared hobbies. She was very interested in my family and how I was coping. It really cheered me up."

The royal, who is President of Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), also took part in a video message congratulating volunteers across the country for their strong start to Volunteers’ Week, which traditionally takes place June 1-7, having already completed 250,000 tasks. 

"Last month, I had the great pleasure of speaking to a lady on the telephone who had worked with a group of Land Girls during the Second World War," Camilla began in the video, which will broadcast through the RVS "Virtual Village Hall" on Monday.

"We spoke of the quiet acts of heroism – both on the frontline and at home – that brought about a great victory for us all.  We now live in a very different world.  Yet as we pull together to overcome COVID-19, we see the same spirit at work: unsung heroism on the frontline and at home," she said.

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"And where there are unsung heroes, there are volunteers," Camilla continued. "Whether you have been volunteering for decades, or are newly on call, you are all the thoughtful people, giving your skill, your energy and your time to support and care for others."

The wife of Prince Charles said the "past weeks have seen a surge in volunteering, the like of which few will be able to recall."

"We now have a veritable army of 18,000 RVS volunteers and a staggering 600,000 NHS Volunteer Responders.  This makes me incredibly proud of our country and of our national willingness to step forward to help in these very challenging times," she said. "May I salute all the unsung heroes gathered in today’s Virtual Village Hall and thank each of you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you."

As of May 31, the U.K. is the fourth leading country in terms of confirmed cases of the coronavirus with 276,156 recorded in a Johns Hopkins database, which reported a total of 38,571 deaths since the start of the outbreak.

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